LRPhils Motors Inc, the official distributor of Land Rover vehicles in the country, recently held the Philippine launch of the 2015 Discovery Sport in Pasong Tamo, Makati City. Billed by the automaker as 'the most versatile compact SUV in the market', the new Discovery Sport blends the benefits of a compact SUV, a 5+2 seating configuration and a powerful yet efficient engines.

Wellington Soong and the Land Rover Discovery Sport

First revealed back in September 2014, the Discovery Sport adopts a lightweight body-shell that combines a mix of high-strength, ultra-high strength boron steel and aluminum panels. With it, the Discovery Sport has a strong yet lightweight base, along with high levels of torsional rigidity. True to its compact credentials, it only measures 4,569mm long, 2,173mm wide (including side mirrors) and 1,724mm tall.

In addition, it also has a 600mm wading depth, a drag coefficient of 0.36, a curb weight that ranges from 1765kg – 1863kg, depending if it is a manual/automatic or has the optional 5+2 seating layout and a new rear multi-link axle that gives it better agility, increased axle articulation, better load space and improved riding comfort for models fitted with 7 seats.

Design-wise, the front end features a distinct grill that is paired with circular headlights with a matching circular trim, foglamps and a power bulge hood. On standard models, the Discovery Sport comes with halogen headlights but they can be specified with Xenon or LED illumination with the optional Signature Plus package.

Prominently seen from the side is a sloping roofline and roof-mounted spoiler that is reminiscent of the current Range Rover Evoque. More styling cues from the Range Rover Evoque can be seen on the rear with the circular taillight design and twin exhaust setup.

Land Rover Discovery Sport interior

Inside, it has a fully adjustable seating layout and is available with a 5+2 seating arrangement. All rows can be fitted with USB charging sockets and 12V power points for convenient and simultaneous charging of gadgets or smartphones. Storage bins have also been integrated along each row.

Depending on the model, interior amenities available for the Discovery Sport can include: dual-zone climate control, air quality sensor, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen system, heads-up display, full panoramic sunroof, headrest-mounted iPad holders and a center glovebox with cooling or warming function.

Over to upholstery, the entry-level S variant comes with a mix of Resolve and Tofino cloth trim while SE models have grained-part leather. The range-topping HSE Luxury on the other hand has Windsor Leather which can be had in six different colors: Ebony, Cirrus, Glacier, Ivory, Almond and Tan.

Land Rover Discovery Sport engine

Three engines are available for the Land Rover Discovery Sport which includes two turbocharged diesels and an all-alloy turbocharged gasoline engine. First up is the 2.2-liter TD4 turbo diesel that puts out 150 PS at 3,500 rpm along with 400 Nm of torque available at 1,750 rpm. Next is the more powerful 2.2-liter SD4 turbo diesel that cranks out 190 PS at 3,500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm.

At the top of the range is the 2.0-liter Si4 turbocharged all-alloy gasoline engine that generates 240 PS at 5,800 rpm and 340 Nm of torque that is readily available at 1,750 rpm. The diesel engines can be connected to either a 9-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The gasoline unit on the other hand can only be mated with the 9-speed automatic gearbox.

Land Rover Discovery Sport rear

Other technological accolades, features and driver aids that are available in the Land Rover Discovery Sport are: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Trailer Stability Assist, Tow Assist with Tow Hitch assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Reverse Traffic Detection, HD Surround Camera System, Satellite Navigation, Automatic Headlights, Rain-sensing wipers and Parking Sensors.

Available colors for the new Land Rover Discovery Sport include: Fuji White, Santorini Black, Corris Gray, Indus Silver, Loire Blue, Scotia Gray, Aintree Green, Kaikoura Stone, Firenze Red, Yulong White, Barolo Black and Phoenix Orange.

Pricing of the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will start at PhP 5.3M and up, depending on the variant and other optional extras.